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Lenny's battle with Stephen Hawking to make the world safe for quantum mechanics

  1. Oct 16, 2007 #1

    marcus

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    Backreaction blog picked up on the subtitle of Susskind's new book
    http://th.physik.uni-frankfurt.de/~scherer/Blogging/BookFair/DSCF5540.JPG

    THE BLACK HOLE WAR: My battle with Stephen Hawking to make the world safe for quantum mechanics.

    Peter Woit pointed this out.

    I like having Susskind be Mr. String Theory. He is a lot funnier than Brian Greene.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007
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  3. Oct 16, 2007 #2

    arivero

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    The side notice at Woit's, that Lenny goes to [itex]\Pi[/itex], is also interesting.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2007 #3

    marcus

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    It sure is! A couple of months ago he was up there giving a series of lectures (on video)
    about blackhole, entropy, holography...
    The lectures are in the PIRSA catalog, so Susskind fans can go to the Perimeter Institute website and pig out on watching Lenny.
     
  5. Oct 16, 2007 #4

    marcus

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    The world is made of tiny vibrating strands of baloney.

    I just had a deep satisfying realization. If you say that this is made of that---like electrons are made of energy---and in that context you can't give a functional definition of energy (besides saying it is what electrons are made of) then the word doesn't mean anything in that context and instead of energy you might as well say baloney.

    So electrons are made of baloney, or if they are made of strings, then the strings made are made of baloney. Tiny vibrating strands, it would seem.

    And suddenly Leonard Susskind became a lot clearer to me. I found something about his Black Hole War story book on the web:
    http://www.powells.com/tqa/susskind.html

    It looks like he may have learned from the example of Smolin's "Trouble" book which communicates through a kind of Odyssey, personal experience of the different places Smolin went and people he picked up ideas from as he went in search of understanding.

    Susskind's Adventures is even more wide-traveling:
    The story starts in Werner Ehrhardt's Mansion in San Francisco, and eventually passes through all seven continents, including Antarctica.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  6. Oct 17, 2007 #5

    marcus

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    PF got a mention in Woit's blog. Thanks Peter!

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=611

    the comments to this post are a scream. I recommend everyone to get over there and sample the first 20 or so comments. I was laughing almost uncontrollably.

    Peter updated the post today to kindly include mention of our PF thread. He also quoted the whole paragraph from the Susskind interview that i just picked the sentence from about Werner Erhard and the Seven Continents including Antarctica.

    It's pretty good so I will quote the whole paragraph here too:

    For two decades an intellectual war took place between Stephen Hawking, on the one side, and myself and Gerard ‘t Hooft on the other. The book is about the scientific revolution that the controversy spawned, but also about the colorful personalities and the passions that gave the story its drama. The story starts in Werner Ehrhardt’s Mansion in San Francisco, and eventually passes through all seven continents, including Antarctica.

     
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